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Announcing the First Round of SolSmart Advisors

SolSmart is excited to announce that 11 communities will be hosting SolSmart Advisors, experienced professionals who will help these communities cut red tape and reduce the cost of going solar.

Municipalities, counties, and regional organizations applied to host the advisors through a competitive process. Communities were selected based on their potential to benefit from the in-depth technical assistance the advisors will provide to encourage solar energy growth. After completing a training in Washington, D.C., the advisors will work in the communities as full-time staff members for up to six months.

“Local governments have the tools to make an enormous impact on solar energy growth in their communities. This provides new energy choices for consumers while encouraging economic development and new jobs,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation. “The SolSmart Advisors will use their professional expertise to help make these communities open for solar business.”

The SolSmart Advisors have experience in fields such as public policy, local government, and environmental and energy consulting. They will provide hands-on technical assistance to help communities evaluate programs and practices that impact the ability of solar companies to do business, such as planning and zoning, permitting, and inspection.

Since the program launched in 2016, SolSmart has designated 29 cities and counties as Gold, Silver, or Bronze. With the help of the advisors, these 11 communities will work to achieve SolSmart designation as soon as possible.

“The SolSmart Advisors program will provide Oklahoma City with the ability to develop its solar sector in a way that drives educational opportunities, job creation, technological innovation, and sustainable growth and development,” said David Brent Grantham, founder at RedwoodAdaptive and the SolSmart Advisor for Oklahoma City. “I look forward to advising the city’s Office of Sustainability and other stakeholders as we begin to identify, design, and implement the best permitting, planning, market development, and financial opportunities introduced in this process.”

 

The eleven communities that are receiving SolSmart Advisors are as follows:

Colorado

Communities: City of Lafayette, Adams County

 

Georgia

Community: City of Atlanta

 

Massachusetts

Community: Metropolitan Area Planning Council

 

Michigan and Indiana

Community: Michiana Area Council of Governments

 

Minnesota (Central)

Community: Metropolitan Council

Partner: Great Plains Institute

 

Minnesota (Northern)

Community: City of Duluth

 

North Carolina

Communities: Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Carrboro, Orange County

Partner: North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center

 

Oklahoma

Community: City of Oklahoma City

 

Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Community: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

 

Rhode Island

Community: City of Providence

 

Virginia

Communities: City of Charlottesville, Abermarle County

 

If you or your community is interested in how you can take part in the SolSmart Program, please go to https://www.solsmart.org/how-we-help/what-is-solsmart/ to find out more information.